Layoffs, hiring in Cavite ecozones

Published by rudy Date posted on March 26, 2009

ROSARIO, CAVITE – While dozens of workers are losing jobs at the Cavite Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), hundreds are going to be hired soon as more investors are coming in, according to CEZA authorities.

Tereso Panga, CEZA administrator, said while two companies will close at the export zone, five are opening soon.

Panga, however, refused to identify the two firms that would close and the five ones that will open as their owners requested that their companies not be identified in the meantime.

The two companies planning to shut down between April and May will displace 142 workers while the five new projects that will soon be approved will hire at least 1,000 workers, he added.

Panga said companies inside CEZA are currently employing 61,633 workers, which could increase in the coming months.

He said the CEZA’s official figures on laid-off workers and companies imposing reduced work hours do not tally with data gathered by the Cavite Workers’ Assistance Center (WAC).

“We respect the data that WAC has presented, but our official figures are far below what they have,” Panga said.

He reported that 1,688 workers were laid off from January to March this year.

“The temporary work adjustments, like the no overtime policy, only serve as a response of the companies to the global financial crisis. It is better than shutting down the companies, and these adjustments are not permanent,” Panga said.

He said 11,886 workers had to cope with reduced work hours or forego overtime pay from January to March.

Concerned sectors in Cavite, known to be a location for a number of industrial parks housing export-oriented companies, convened on Sunday to discuss how to prevent massive job losses.

The WAC, a nongovernment organization that organized the event, presented the results of a survey conducted among workers in Cavite factories.

Laura Sarmiento, WAC research committee head, said her group conducted the survey for a closer look at real labor data in economic zones.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 29 to Feb. 8 with 495 respondents from 162 factories. –Karen Lapitan, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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